Sendspark Blog > Your Guide to Data-Driven Content Marketing Strategy with GA4

Your Guide to Data-Driven Content Marketing Strategy with GA4

Random effort has no place in any content marketing strategy. Every successful marketing relies on data. When you know what to pitch, when to pitch and who to pitch to, you can expect better results. Knowledge of relevant information and how to interpret significant patterns in data will give you an edge over your competitors. 

And Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the perfect tool to give you that competitive edge.

Why is GA4 Better?

The newest version of Google Analytics helps you track, consolidate and analyze precise data from both apps and websites. It allows you to do these things without the need to switch versions, which is what marketers used to do in Google Analytics Universal – the old version of GA.

On top of that, GA4 allows you to customize the data you want to view in several ways. Google’s machine learning technology helps content creators collect and predict new insights and observe user journeys from websites and apps easily.

So how can you leverage GA4 to create a more informed, data-driven content marketing strategy?

Content Marketing Strategy Powered by GA4

Content marketing analytics can be overwhelming, even to experienced marketers. After all, data itself is not a strategy. So it helps to have a simple guide to navigate the tools you’re using and to make sense of the data you’ve accessed.

1. Define your goals

Goals allow you to measure performance, to track the progress of your content strategy. So they must be specific.

Here are some examples of measurable goals for content. You can also set these goals in Google Analytics 4 for easy tracking:

  • Increase site traffic within a month
  • Improve online sign-ups
  • Raise brand awareness in the first quarter
  • Multiply conversion rates
  • Increase backlinks for product pages
  • Generate quality leads 
  • Promote user engagement in social media
  • Boost ROI 

Once the goal is set, strategize about the kind of content you want to create. Your expertise and niche should be the basis for your topics. For example, if your website is about pet food, focus on anything related to this topic, e.g., special diets for pets, food for young pets, organic pet food, etc.

Don’t be tempted to use trending topics if they have no relation at all to what your website’s about. Doing so will compromise your credibility and affect not just how visitors view your brand but how Google ranks your content.

Google’s recent Helpful Content update has guide questions to assist you in determining authority and focus:

  • Is a particular content aligned with your site’s primary purpose? Is it in line with your brand?
  • Will the content you’re planning to create reflect the expertise of someone who has had first-hand experience in the matter?

With Google Analytics 4, you can have a deeper understanding of traffic patterns and spot trends from posts that are ranking. 

Topic ideation is made easier with your analysis, allowing you to provide the right kind of content for your users.

For example, is most of your traffic going to how-to posts with steps included? If that’s the case, this format may be the best way to go about your future content.

Head over to the Pages and Screens report in GA4 and analyze reports for content that your visitors read most, pages that your users scrolled on the most and the page that had the most traffic.

Google Analytics Pages and Screens report

Once you’ve set your goal and the main topic of your content, move on to the next step.

2. Study your audience

Knowing your audience isn’t just about being aware of who your users are. You need to delve deeper and find out what keeps them interested and engaged. One of the ways you can learn more about your audience is by reading the comments they leave on your site or even on your competitor’s pages. 

GA 4’s User Metric feature shows you the total number of users that engaged with a page and if they used a website or an app to access it.

You can find out if your current content provides enough value to keep your readers hooked, and how they’re interacting with it. 

Another metric you can use is Views by Page. It will show you which pages have more traffic and views. This will help you decide what your users would like to see or read and create more content about that.

For example, if your site is about weight loss and your highest-viewed page is on fasting, then your readers are likely interested in content revolving around that topic. So provide more information to your users with relevant content about fasting.

3. Nail down your keywords

The right keywords will help you produce more targeted content.

Google has its own Keyword Planner, which you can use to find keywords. Even though this feature is made for Google Ads purposes, you can use it for general keyword research. But you must have a Google Ads account to use it and find search terms that are relevant to your users.

If you’re not yet ready to use Google’s Keyword Planner, a good alternative would be Google Search Console. In its performance tab, find the top queries or the top keywords you’re ranking for and the page that’s ranking for that keyword. 

Top Queries in Google Search Console

Once you’ve listed all of your keywords, categorize and group them according to intent. 

4. Decide the content type

GA4 records a wide range of data from pageviews, scrolls and video views to downloads and how long a user watched a particular video which could be helpful if you’re also doing video marketing.

For example, you can learn how many visitors downloaded a particular gated content by turning on PDF tracking. 

You can set up pdf tracking by heading over to your admin dashboard, then choosing Data Stream under Property. Under enhanced measurement, click the gear icon. With this, you can collect data from links and embedded videos.

GA Events

This feature will inform you which form of content is most effective. 

For example, you’d have an idea if gated content works or if your users don’t go for downloads and instead prefer blogs.

This data can be collected by creating an event. You can do this through Reports > Engagement > Events.

You must create an event that would trigger the parameter you want, like downloads or page views. Only then will the data appear on your reports dashboard.

GA4 Create an Event

5. Plan your content calendar

Effective content marketing isn’t a one-time thing. It’s an ongoing process because many factors play a role in its success. Research, strategy, publication, monitoring and optimization provide more rewards as long as you do them continually and consistently. 

A content calendar gives you control. It is needed to manage what goes into your site, ensuring you’re publishing quality, consistent and effective content. 

The more consistent you are with publishing content, the more successful your content marketing strategy will be. Use this content calendar as a blueprint and fill out the necessary details to suit your needs.

Your audience can easily connect and follow your site if they know what they’ll get from it. Consistency is the secret here. Scheduling your posts and publishing consistently will also give you access to more consistent data that can help you gain important insights. 

Content creation becomes easier when you have a consistent workflow. 

Below are some KPIs you need to track and monitor while you reassess your content marketing strategy:

  • Site Conversions (ex. sign-ups and leads)
  • Blog Conversions (ex. blog traffic, scrolls, clicks, newsletter sign-up, readership, time on page)
  • User Generated Content (comments and shares)

Top Changes in Google Analytics 4 for Content Marketers

1. Mobile Device Tracking

GA4 can now track mobile and web apps, so you can now view data from both in Google Analytics.

Before GA4, you have to install different versions of Google Analytics if you want to track mobile apps and websites. Now, you don’t have to do something that will take up so much time.

Both data can now be tracked and monitored in one interface. 

2. Data Model

Different data collection methods from different devices and systems need to be unified so Google added events.

With Events, you can measure particular user interaction on both sites and apps. You also have the choice to set any event you want such as clicking a link, loading a page or completing a checkout. 

3. Pathways

Pathways is a feature that enables you to understand customer journeys better. This also shows you a better view of how users navigate your website.

You can now see how people enter your site or what page they came from as well as how they converted. You can then create a hypothesis on how to improve those steps. 

4. GA4 Reports

Reports are now easier to understand. Unlike Universal Analytics, which was insightful but presented reports in a broader spectrum, GA4 now has an analysis hub that lets you read data in a more customizable manner.

GA4 Explorations

GA 4 Free from Template

(Free form template)

You can do analysis quickly using any format or template you want.

Make Informed, Data-Driven Decisions with GA4

GA4 offers a whole new way of collecting, storing, understanding and representing data. It’s more flexible and customizable, making it ideal for different content marketers with different goals.

New tools will always seem intimidating, until you get around to using them. Such is the case with GA4. The array of features it provides will allow you to make those crucial decisions about the direction of your content marketing strategy. 

So make the switch now before Google sunsets Universal Analytics in 2023. Get familiar with the tool. And boost results from your strategy.

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